Congratulations! You’ve started your fitness journey! Now what?
As a Personal Trainer, I have seen countless transformations of people who decided that they needed to make a change in their lives. Maybe they seeked me out because they have a vacation coming up and just need to lose a few more pounds to feel comfortable in a bikini. Maybe they have been working out for a while but just need some help with their ab training.
However, one of the most interesting cases I come across are the people who want to go from living a rather unhealthy lifestyle…to a healthy one.
Fast food, stressful work hours, little to no sleep, and a completely sedentary lifestyle may sound completely foreign to you if you’re a regular gym- goer. However, for plenty of people this is everyday life. Going from living your life in that way to starting exercising, drinking more water, eating nutritious food, monitoring your stress levels, and getting more quality rest time can be quite a shock on the body. Hopefully this article will help give you an idea of what to expect from making the healthy switch.
For starters…expect to be sore! No matter what program you do! If you go from nothing to something you will surely feel some muscle soreness or tightness, joints may hurt because they aren’t accustomed to activity, and more. Don’t let this discourage you! Of course severe pain isn’t what we’re talking about here but basically expect some soreness in the beginning and expect it to be tough, especially if you’re doing some resistance training (you should be).
Nutrition is also a critical factor to consider in any health or fitness program. I highly suggest NOT going all in when people start out. Don’t go cold turkey on your bad habits. If you drink four sodas a day every single day; don’t try to quit soda altogether. Of course I’m not advocating your bad habits but remember that any aggressive changes you make may be too harsh on yourself and are not sustainable. I’ve seen plenty of people start exercising seven days a week when two weeks ago they sat on the couch all day long. Unfortunately, most of those people relapse and go back to their old ways fairly quickly. Fitness is a consistency game and it’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint. So, back to my topic of nutrition, slowly start eating more nutritionally dense foods; ie: lean meats, chicken, fish, fruits, veggies, quality carb sources, nuts, etc. Start introducing more water in your diet because most people honestly get way less water than they should. What should you expect from these nutritional changes? CRAVINGS! Expect to crave your old favorites! That’s why I’m saying don’t quit cold turkey. Simply reduce the amount of poor food choices in your day and replace them with healthy ones. As the weeks pass, keep moving in that positive direction and I promise you will start to see changes in your body as well as the cravings go down.
Another helpful tip for those just starting out is to expect more energy throughout the day! This is counter intuitive when we think about working out and feeling exhausted afterward. Although I would never lie to you- there are definitely plenty of times you’ll workout and feel exhausted- you will notice within your first month of consistently working out that you have more energy throughout the day. Your body is starting to realize you’re moving and really using all of its muscles. The daily exercise habits are taxing your cardiovascular system, central nervous system, and more. Therefore, your body is starting to expect the energy expenditure and it is becoming more efficient at burning calories and bodyfat stores for energy production. This is especially helpful for my early bird clients (You know who you are)! Getting up at 5am to workout may sound like torture to some but I promise you all of my early morning people tell me how much more productive they feel throughout the day since they started working out before the sun rises. There’s also definitely a sense of accomplishment to getting your day started before the rest of the world does! Expect to feel energized and feel good!
Finally, set realistic goals for yourself. Of course you may have some lofty goals but don’t be harsh on yourself especially in the beginning. It’s very common for people to not lose any weight when they start out, or to find out they can’t actually knock out ten pushups with good form, or what have you.
Expect to be humbled!
But the reality is that exercise and fitness is a skill. Just like any skill it needs to be practiced and honed in order for you to become proficient at it. So again, be patient with yourself and set realistic goals.
There you have it folks! Some things to expect in your first month of working out or starting a health plan! If you enjoyed this article at all- PLEASE share it with your friends, family, coworkers, or anyone else you feel could benefit from it! I promise to post Health and Fitness Tips regularly so check back with us soon!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this or even contact me! I’m always happy to connect.